Liebster Award Nominations!

liesbster-2015-NominationI was quite surprised the other day to see a lot of new traffic coming to my site. And even more surprised to find it coming from someone I hadn’t met yet. Come to find out, the lovely Rebecca Colours had nominated me for the Liebster Award! Thank you so much, Rebecca! Check out her blog here.
The Liebster Award is an award made for bloggers by bloggers, discovering new blogs. The award aims to put the spotlight on new bloggers and give them a chance to shine and get known here in the blogging world. The award comes with a few rules:

  1. Put the Liebster Award logo on your blog
  2. Thank and tag the blog who nominated you
  3. Answer their questions and come up with 10 new ones for your nominees
  4. Nominate 8 blogs (with less than 200 followers), let them know you’ve nominated them and link them in your post
  5. No tag-backs

I received the following questions from Rebecca. Here are my answers:

1.  What is your favorite thing about blogging? 
I love that I have a place to share thoughts, ideas, and creativity, along with a journal in a way to look back on. It’s a way to stay accountable and not let my goals or projects lose momentum.

2. What is your favorite saying/proverb/quote?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path.” —Proverbs 3:5-6

3. What is/are your biggest inspiration(s) that motivate you?
First, I would have to say, my mom is a huge inspiration and encouragement in my life. She’s one of my best friends and has been a mentor to me in many ways, but especially in my married life as I’m still learning to be a wife and *gasp* live with a guy! (<–This requires a gasp because I grew up with only a sister, no brothers, and I was home schooled…) She’s also been an incredible inspiration and motivation lately as she’s started her own business last year and that takes a lot of work, bravery, and dedication! Second, I would have to say that time motivates me. As I’ve mentioned before, I love to plan, but I also like to make the most of the time I have in the day, so time and the lack thereof gets me going in my day!

4. What are you really good at?
This may sound weird, but painting a room. I LOVE it! It’s instant gratification for me because I can see my progress immediately. I can paint an entire room without using a drop cloth or painters tape on baseboards or edges. I’m weird I know… I’m sure there are other things, but this was the first thing that came to mind.

5. What’s the key to success?
Hard work, perseverance—even when you feel like giving up, and having a goal to go after.

6. Is there anything new you’d like to learn?
There’s always something new to learn in life! This year, one of the things I’d like to learn is how to garden and mow my lawn. You can see more things on my 30 for 30 list here.

7. What’s your most important overall goal for 2015?
To accomplish my 30 for 30 list.

8. If you could write a brief message to your 13 year old self, what would you say?
Probably the only things I would tell myself is to learn to let go of trying to control everything a little earlier, stay active, exercise, and try more foods. I was a picky eater that preferred junk food,and now I’m paying for it. #FebruaryIsForFitness

9. Do you have any guilty pleasures and if so, what?
I’m the weirdo that loves to dip french fries in my chocolate milkshake and I love to watch reality tv, namely shows like The Real Housewives of Name-Any-City/Region, Dance Moms, Sister Wives, Toddlers & Tiaras, and just about any wedding show on TLC. Hi, my name is Kellie and I’m addicted to junk tv. 😦

10. State one word that would describe yourself.
Multi-faceted. 

Now I would like to nominate these lovely people! They all inspire me in their own unique way! Check out their blogs:
A Desert Girl
The Audrey Files
Bee Beauty
The Pastor’s Snarky Wife
Beside His Badge
The Adventures of Everygirl
News (Linzie Hunter)
The Elm Life

And here are your questions:
1. Why did you start your blog?
2. What is your favorite dessert?
3. What do you look forward to most about your favorite season?
4. What did you want to be when you grew up and how similar is it to what you do now?
5. What is your favorite book and why?
6. What do you do to help maintain balance in your life?
7. If you could go/live anywhere (real or mythical) where would you go?
8. What is one goal you would like to accomplish this year?
9. Coffee, tea, or something else?
10. What has been your most meaningful and/or useful life lesson, thus far?

I’d love to read your answers, so please be sure to tag me! 🙂

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Pepper’s Bookshelf • 1/30

One of the goals on my 30 for 30 List is to read 30 books this year. I just finished the first one for this year and it was one of the most helpful books I’ve read in a while! If you are an officer in LawEmotionalSurvivalforLawEnforcementBook Enforcement, a spouse of an officer, fiancé, family, or friend of some one who serves in Law Enforcement, Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement by Kevin M. Gilmartin was written for you. It goes beyond the day to day tasks of the law enforcement life and digs deeper to reveal the emotional side and side effects of the job.

I highly recommend this book to new officers and their spouses! While officers are put through rigorous training in order to serve and protect their communities effectively, there are few officers and far fewer spouses and families that are prepared for the emotional side effects of the job. A career in law enforcement is extremely different from the many stereotypical 9 to 5 jobs out there. The long and odd work hours, missed holidays with loved ones, having to face tragedy and lawlessness on a daily basis, along with the necessity of having to wear a bullet proof vest everyday has a profound mental, emotional, and physical impact on the officer themselves, but it also has an impact on their families. As a spouse, this book helped me understand my husband’s world better and how it impacts our family. It also helped me learn how to view the impact with a healthy mindset.

Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement offers practical ways to not get consumed with the job (or letting the job consume you), how to provide balance between the on duty hyper-vigilience and off duty zoning out, ways to take control of your off duty time, tips to maintaining your personal identity, cues to fight isolation and cynicism, staying connected with loved ones along with so many more practical tools to stay emotionally strong in the world of law enforcement!

Overall, learning to bring balance to your life and perspective, learning where the stresses and impacts are coming from, and choosing to take control of your personal time off duty were the points that stood out most to me. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

PeppersBookShelf

To My Neighbor With Blue Porch Lights

Dear neighbor,

I don’t know you…yet. But you made my day when I came home last night and drove past your house. You don’t know what your simple gesture of having a blue light outside your home means to me. It may seem strange to the average person, it may be hard to see your keys to get into your front door at night, you may even have a different reason for choosing blue, but to me, it’s huge!

In light of current events and numerous stories 2014-07-11 14.02.42in the media featuring stories on law enforcement, both negative and positive, it’s clear that there has been a change in some people’s view of the law and those who defend it. These stories are more than just news stories to me. The people protesting on TV and social media are more than just a group of people who seem angry or hateful. The indifference and silence I hear from many around me who say and do nothing, even though I know they believe in good, is deafening. The number of officers who have died in the line of duty is rising, not to mention the impact that loss has on the families connected to each officer. It breaks my heart and wears me down daily as I tell my husband to “be careful” and “I love you,” as he goes on shift, praying for him and his fellow officers to come home safe each night. These men and women see everyone’s worst day as their everyday.  It’s not just news, it’s personal. It’s lonely. It often feels as though we, in the law enforcement community and family, are alone.

BluePorchlightSo your light is incredibly encouraging. It means that I’m not alone in supporting my husband. It means that someone else is proclaiming to the world that they appreciate the sacrifices he makes everyday to serve and protect his community. It tells me that you believe in good and you won’t stand for hate. It tells me that you’ve stepped up to speak out from the silent majority. It tells me that you care. It’s hope. And that means the world to me!

So, thank you. It may seem a strange choice to some. It probably cost you an extra trip to the hardware store and a few dollars. It may seem small in general. You may even have been trying to save energy. Whatever your initial reason, you have no idea how much you’ve blessed and encouraged me.

Thank you so much!

-Your neighbor
a police wife

#SeaOfBlueRibbonCampaign #StepOutInBlue #BlueLivesMatter
#AllLivesMatter #SupportOurPolice #LEOWLife

The Resolution We Kept

With it being January and everyone still making, talking about, or working on their resolutions, I thought I’d share one resolution that I made last year that actually stuck.

This time last year, I was working outside the home full time as a graphic designer for a large arts and crafts company, with an hour commute every morning and evening, 8:30-5:00, five days a week. My husband was going to school part time for his degree and working four 10-hour shifts a week as a police officer. Mind you, he works the evening shift, so he was getting home at 1:30am-ish every night and sleeping in until 10:00am, unless he had class at 8:00am. Our weekends didn’t match up, (mine was Saturday and Sunday, while his were Monday through Wednesday) so we were like ships passing in the night and hardly saw each other. We would mostly see each other asleep or spend a few hours together on each other’s weekends before the other would head out to work. We were both exhausted and it was wearing us thin. Our communication, schedules, and budget seemed all out of whack. We finally decided to do something about it.

We decided to make a point to go on a date once a month, preferably within the first week of the month, to sit down together and go over the upcoming weeks. We tried this for one month, then two, then six, and I’m proud to say that we were able to meet for eleven months last year! We tried to meet in December, but it was just a bit crazy with the holidays.

Now, it’s a date that we look forward to and thankfully is a little easier to schedule, now that I’m home full time. I’m now on his sleep schedule and we see each other a lot more now, but we still look forward to sitting down and making a point to discuss the upcoming month.

PlanningDateWhen we meet, we both bring our planners or calendars. I bring notes on our finances and a laptop. If there’s anything else either of us want to talk about with the other, we bring that too. We will usually go to a coffee shop or some place where we can get some lunch or dinner and stay for a while. We look over our schedules and note any events, appointments, meetings, holidays, birthdays, etc. that may be coming up. We talk through our budget and savings goals so that we both are on the same page with our finances. I am our bookkeeper and manage our bill pay, but it’s important to both be aware of how our money is being spent and agree on mutual goals.

CoffeeShopOur dates also allow us some time away from the house and distractions to really enable us to focus together and talk about what’s going on or what we want to do in the upcoming months. Even though I’m home full time now, there are still so many tasks both at home and with our schedules that we can get busy and caught up in. It’s nice to take a break, relax, and focus together. We still plan on having these monthly planning dates this year!

Since last year, a lot has changed and thankfully we are no longer ships in the night. But we still value making time to spend with one another and work through life together. Our dates have not only helped us get on the same page schedule-wise, but have helped our marriage stay strong. We’re not perfect by any means. This past year has brought a lot of change into our lives and has given us a few bumps in the road. However, by dedicating some time to talk and work together, we are able to take on the curves and bumps in the road a little easier.

What are your favorite things to plan with your spouse?