Frugal Living/ Budgeting, General, Ways to be More Content

16 and Pregnant….Let’s Get Real Here

 

16 and Pregnant   Okay, I must admit, I love to watch Teen Mom 2 (and Teen Mom OG) on MTV. It’s pretty engrossing to watch other peoples’ lives, I think that’s why those cheesy reality shows do so well. We all love to see what other people do. But let’s get real here, all those “reality” shows aren’t really that “real”. I mean, nobody really lives like the Kardashians, unless they are the Kardaashians.

The Teen Mom shows, the follow up to the original 16 and Pregnant show, follow moms who were teenagers when they had their babies. It airs on MTV and is a huge hit. We fans love watching those babies grow up and seeing their moms succeed (yay!) and we feel their pain when they do not. We cheer them on as they navigate their lives in the right direction, find new love, have more sweet babies, find their way in this thing called life. I smile as I watch Chelsea being truly loved and finding happiness. I am proud of Leah as she shows her girls she can be strong and independent. I love that Kailyn is so fierce in her love for her boys.

For me, I have a much more personal reason for watching this series, as I myself was 16 and pregnant once upon a time (23 years ago). I was that teen mom, navigating growing up myself, balancing a marriage, and trying to be a good mom and make good choices. I look back and I am proud and happy with my life. I am married to my baby daddy (23 years in December), I have my own business, and I work as a nurse. My daughter is married and doing wonderful, and my son, my youngest, just graduated high school in May.

But saying all this, let me take you back to when I first began my  journey. My husband worked full time, our daughter was born 9 weeks early and was in and out of the hospital (2 1/2 hours from home) for her first few years. We really struggled financially, my parents really stepped in and helped us a lot. I didn’t finish high school (got my GED before she was born) and missed a lot of “teen” things. We were broke, our kids didn’t get vacations, they got second hand clothes many times, we didn’t get to go out to dinner much. Am I painting a picture that is shown on the show? Nope, not at all. I wasn’t being paid to be on a TV show. And neither are most teen moms. The majority of teen moms live in poverty, they receive welfare benefits and never finish college (many not even high school). That’s a much different picture, now isn’t it? Yep. That’s the reality of teen pregnancy.

I am writing this to say, what we see on TV (not just that show, but all of them) is just not real. We live normal, everyday lives that aren’t scripted, they aren’t filmed and edited. But our teens need to know that when they have a baby at 16 (or in their teenage years) it won’t be like on the show. No big new houses, no expensive SUVs, no fancy island vacations, no designer clothes, nope. It’ll be much, much different. It can still be awesome, just with less stuff and much more work. And college will be a struggle all the way. You’ll be studying, wishing you had more time with your kids.

So, go forth and watch your favorite reality show! Just know that real life is what “reality” really is. No editing things out, no big paycheck, no makeup and special lighting, just the real deal. And it can be ugly, it can be painful, and it can stink sometimes, but it’s real.

I hope all are having a blessed Monday! I hope you have a marvelous week ahead! Summer is winding down, the kiddos are all back in school, we are all looking forward to fall around here! God bless y’all!

Family Vacations, Frugal Living/ Budgeting, General, Homesteading

Here We Go Again!

I’m back!

Well, to be truthful, I wasn’t really gone! I had taken a hiatus from blogworld, but I am back and ready for BIG things to come!

I have made big changes in my life, one being I left my job as a school nurse to become a full time business owner. I had started my kennel 8 years ago part time, but I was to a point I needed to be here full time, so I made the plunge!

It was a bit scary going from a full time, regular income to irregular pay schedules and managing it on my own. But I have been so blessed with great success, and I give all the glory to God! He provides for me so richly!

I will be updating you all with a link to my new Kennel blog site (under works as we speak!) so you can check out my sweet baby puppies and their mommas and dads.

I will also be adding some awesome projects I am working on around the homestead! (including a cute new Chicken Coup up-cycled from an old swing set!) Garden season is upon me and I am so ready to get into harvesting and preserving mode!

So I hope you’ll continue to follow me in my homesteading journey!

DSC_0317

This pic was taken a month or so back- I hiked up to Hawks’ Bill Crag with my son and his friend.I am very afraid of heights and had decided I wasn’t even going onto the crag. Thankfully my son convinced me to get out there,that’s me with my hands in the air, that was as far as I was going. It felt to exhilarating to conquer something that big! It was a beautiful piece of my state I really enjoyed seeing.

Here’s a link to info, if you’re ever in the area, I really suggest going. Just a few notes from one gal to all of you:

  1. There are no bathrooms at the trail head, plan accordingly. (I drank a pot of coffee and 2 bottles of water, oops! I had to squat!)
  2.  It is beautiful, but the hike for this fat girl was a bit rough. Coming back up out of the holler was a doozy! If you have any type of handicap, be careful please!
  3. I would go in spring or fall, we went in late winter and it wasn’t as pretty.
  4. The road in is rough! You’ll think you’re lost and picture a scene from a scary movie (think, Wrong Turn!) but nope- that’s the right road!
  5. Leave it the way you found it! Nature is best without your empty bottles and cig butts! I always hate to see junk messing up natures beauty!

http://www.buffaloriver.com/pages/whitaker-point-trail-hawksbill-crag/

I hope all have a wonderful week ahead! I am about to head out and get my broccoli and cabbage plants in the ground and put some lettuce seeds out. God Bless!

General

Time Well Spent- Reminiscing with my Kids!

So this past weekend our family spent time on the farm (none of us live there anymore) just hanging out. We all went for a walk to the “back side” of the place when on the way back my kids (now 16 and almost 20) wanted to “go exploring, like when we were kids”.

See when they were little we lived on the farm and they roamed those woods all the time. They would be bored on a beautiful day, so I would tell them, “Put on your hiking boots” and we would go “exploring”. The farm is an old place that has been in my husbands’ mothers’ family for many generations. They would find “treasures”, such as old glass soda bottles, a canning jar, neat rocks, cool shaped sticks, etc. Then when their daddy got home from work, they had the “treasures” lined up on the porch for him to marvel over.

barn collage  This is the old barn, holds a lot of memories.

When my kids were little they kept their baby bottle calves in this barn. They climbed in the old hay loft and “explored” it too. It was built by their great-great grandfather.

So Sunday afternoon we went off into the woods, “exploring”, or maybe I should say reminiscing. I would see the large flat rocks and it would tale me back to when they were little walking this very place. And then we got to the old spring, where their great-great grandmother used to carry her wash to, because they had no running water.

It was a very good day! My daughter found some pretty pieces of wood that she may use for decoration at her wedding this fall. My son found a very old cow skull. So we found some “treasures” this time too!

DSC_0167 An old cream can, just sitting by the old car shed.

I love spending time with my family, that time is priceless.

I hope all are having a wonderful week thus far! Mine has been busy, but great! Thanks for stopping by and God Bless!

General

Thankful for Life-Long Friends, Shopping Trips and Food!

So here where I live we have “Deer Day”, which is a day off school so everyone can hunt the opening Monday of deer season. I know, it sounds a bit redneck, but around here most of us hunt and eat deer meat. That’s what was for supper last night at my house, my son killed a nice buck and my hubby butchered it and we had fresh deer tenderloins with some mashed potatoes and biscuits. (I know, not very healthy- but it is like a twice a year dinner we have)

Since I do not hunt, but just prepare and eat the delicious meat, I am off to go shopping with one of my besties since 4th grade. Yeah! Now we live in a very rural area, it takes me half an hour to get to the closest Walmart, so when we go off the “city” the first thing this chunky girl starts thinking, is where are we gonna eat today? So many yummy choices, how will we ever decide? LOL

I have on my mind going to the Goodwill there, because in the past I have scored some great stuff there. There are also a few good “junk” stores, which I would love to hit today, also. I am getting excited about Christmas, but I know better than to start shopping too early- I end up overbuying when I try to. I wait until closer, so when I say we’re done- I won’t be tempted to go buy more.

So having a great friend like mine is great, she and I don’t talk a lot, or see each other but a handful of times a year, but when we get together, we are those chatty junior high girls again, if just for a while. When our kids were younger we got together with the kids. Then as they’ve gotten older, we decided it was all about us. So we meet up and spend the day being a little selfish, although we both end up picking up stuff for our sweet kids before the day is up. It is a nice feeling that we still connect after all these years. In life, we all need those connections, and when we find them, we have to hold on to them.  Family is not always about being blood related, Diana is my sister, through and through.

Okay so off to find something to wear!! I hope all have a Blessed day! Write one of your good friends a text, or better yet- drop them an old-fashioned card in the mail, I still love getting mail!! God Bless!!

General

The Countdown to Summer Break!!

I work as a school nurse and among the many wonderful things about my job is summers off- yeah! I love to be home and catch up on all the projects that I put off for lack of time. I have a list started of things I want to do this summer, although I love to just lounge with a good book too. I have a list of books I am looking forward to reading, also. Did I mention I am a compulsive list-maker? LOL

We also have a family vacation to the beach planned and I am very excited about that. I have started scouring the internet for good coupons to use while we are vacationing- after all I gotta stay frugal no matter where I’m at.

It has been busy at school, finishing up all the end of year reports and such and all the trips and activities associated with end of the year. It’s also been busy at home, my husband and I raise registered puppies and have had 4 litters in the past 5 weeks, so we’ve been running like crazy. I love raising dogs though, my dogs are part of my family and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I would love to hear about ways you save on vacation, as well as things you enjoy in the summer. Have a Blessed rest of the week!

 

General

School Nursing, my calling for sure!

I have been a nurse for about 9 years and I have loved every aspect of it, from the disgusting to the seemingly mundane. I worked at a hospital in the medical-surgical department when I first started, then I worked at a clinic for a wonderful doctor for a few years, and 2 years ago I found my true calling: school nursing.

I know what you might be thinking, you’re a band-aid station, right? There is so much more to school nursing than just cuts and scrapes. I have learned a lot in the short 2 years I have been there with the kids, they amaze me at their strength and wisdom. I feel like it’s the best job in the world and I am just lucky enough to get to do it.

I had a little girl draw me a card and it just melted my heart. She has a lot of struggles and she took time to make me a card telling me I was her hero, it  just made me realize that I make a difference sometimes when I don’t even know it. I try to always be super positive with the kids and to let them know that I have faith in them and that they can do anything.

Finding contentment can come in many forms, whether it be your job, your home, your spouse, your children, etc, the point is that when you find contentment, the joy of life follows. I hope you have the courage to work on being content and finding joy, because it fills voids in your life that material things will never fill. May God bless you!

I would love to hear about ways you find contentment in your life!